Visual Culture Division of the Cultural Studies Association (CSA)
Session 1: Visual Matters: Open Session
Within CSA’s theme of 'the material', this open session asks similarly of Cultural Studies’ engagement with visuality. How do we define the relationship between material culture and visuality? In what ways might subjects, bodies, technologies, states, disciplines, theory, etc. redefine or challenge notions of the visual and its materiality, or, conversely, its immateriality. In short, how does the study of visuality redefine notions of Cultural Studies today and? Why, and how, does Visual Culture “matter”?
Please submit the following by 10 Sept. 2011: Your name, email address, phone number, and institutional affiliation; 500 word (max) abstract for a 20-minute paper; a list of any AV equipment you would need. Send all materials to the Randal Rogers, Chair of the Visual Culture Division at email@example.com.
Session 2: Visual Cultures of Blood
Blood has long had a troubling relationship to visuality as both a hypervisible marker of life and death, as well as a substance imagined to house invisible and hidden "truths" about bodies and communities. Medical, military, and cultural imaging technologies have sought to make blood visible in various ways as a marker of national and familial belonging, disease and health, racial identity, and sexual and gender deviance. Blood has been mobilized as a political, economic, and cultural technology that can and has served various interests, and this is closely tied to visuality.
For example, policy and media industry practices have often sought blood's invisibility at the same time that military, medical, and cultural practices seek its increased visibility, and vice versa. This panel seeks papers that explore the intersections of visual culture and blood in terms of representation, practice, policy, and/or discourse.
Further, this session takes up this year's CSA theme of "Culture Matters" as it seeks papers that explore the ways that visual culture has foregrounded the role of blood in negotiating the relation between materiality and culture. As blood is simultaneously material and metaphoric, both viscous and virtual, we seek papers that trace the ways this imbrication has had cultural, political, and economic effects.
Possible topics may include:
- Representations of blood in video games (ratings dependent on blood's representation, how players negotiate blood in games, how blood and violence are understood in relation to each other)
- Contagion and disease narratives, global health policy, epidemiology, and medicine (HIV/AIDS, TB, blood testing/typing/mapping)
- Biopolitics and biopower
- Blood in sexuality, queer, feminist, and/or transgender studies
- The role of blood in defining citizenship, nationalisms, and racial categories (blood quantum policies, "one drop" rules, jus sanguinis laws)
- Eugenics and public policy
- Military uses and/or representations of blood in war or everyday militarisms
- Security discourses and blood policy
- Blood banking, blood drives, and blood transfusion technologies
- Cultural and/or artistic performances using blood
- The role of blood in activism or community formations
- The relation between human and non-human blood
- Transnational circulations of blood images, policies, and practices
- Kinship networks and practices (maternity/paternity testing, family trees, umbilical cord banking, "blood brothers")
- Vampires, zombies, and the undead (28 Days Later, Resident Evil, True Blood, The Walking Dead, Left 4 Dead, Blood Rayne, Vampire: The Masquerade)
- Masochism and pain/pleasure
- Blood in sports (blood doping, boxing regulations, testing requirements)
- The role of blood in violence and virtuality
- Economic visibilities/invisibilities of blood in industry practices ("blood diamond" industries, labor laws, worker's compensation disputes, etc.)
Please submit the following by 10 Sept. 2011: Your name, email address, phone number, and institutional affiliation; 500 word (max) abstract for a 20-minute paper; a list of any AV equipment you would need. Send all materials to the session Chair, Cathy Hannabach at firstname.lastname@example.org.